Keep Me Posted!

Sign me up for the latest news from Penguin Teen, including new books, special offers, and promotions.

The Cover for Danielle Vega’s THE MERCILESS IV: LAST RITES is Here and it’s Giving Us All the Witchy Vibes


The Merciless series by Danielle Vega has been scaring us senseless since 2014, and we are SO excited to have one last Merciless novel to grace our bookshelves in Summer 2018. The Merciless IV: Last Ritesthe fourth book in the scream-worthy cult series combines Stephen King-level terror with true crime stories like the Amanda Knox case. So, yeah, we are here for this. Read on for a Q&A with Danielle Vega and then check out the most perfect witchy cover.


Penguin Teen: These covers have taken a journey from hot pink to 90’s goth! Did witchy horror films like The Craft inspire you when you were writing book IV?

Danielle Vega: Yes! Definitely! I was a teenager in the 90s, and a huge fan of THE CRAFT when it first came out (did anyone else try to call the four corners, or was it just me?) When I first saw this cover, I felt like a sixteen year old goth princess again! Or for the first time…I wasn’t really that cool as a teenager (but I wanted to be!)

PT: What has been your favorite thing about writing the Merciless series?

DV: Despite being a lifelong horror fan, I’d never written a horror novel before THE MERCILESS. I’ve loved learning how to make things scarier, upping the creep factor as I go and, in general, learning new techniques and tricks to help the tone of my books feel dark and gritty. It’s surprising, but I think that learning to write scary has helped my writing overall. I definitely pay more attention to word choice now, and how altering small things can change the feel of an entire scene.

PT: How is this book different from other books in the series?

DV: This book was partially inspired by the Amanda Knox murder case. Her documentary came out earlier this year, and I was obsessed. I’m a huge true crime fan (surprise, surprise) and I followed her case when it was first reported, so I was so surprised when it turned out that there really wasn’t that much evidence tying her to the murder, and that the media kind of went bananas with all the Satanic cult theories. And, of course, being the horror novelist that I am, that got me thinking about what the murder might’ve looked like if there had been a cult involved… So that’s where the initial spark for MERCILESS IV: LAST RITES comes from!

PT: What’s next for you after the Merciless series?  More horror or a different direction?

DV: Definitely more horror! I’m currently in the early stages of a new series, and I’ve been challenging myself to find new and exciting ways of scaring my readers. But, before that comes out, I have something completely different–a sort of epic, time travel FIREFLY meets DR. WHO story called DARK STARS. Look for that one in early 2019!


And now for the cover!



So gather your coven and start reading this series!



Pre-order your copy of The Merciless IV: Last Rites here!

And don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads shelf!















Books that offer understanding to the refugee experience

On World Refugee Day, in a time when understanding and empathizing with the plight of refugees is vitally important, these reads offer insight and experience. From a World War II tragedy to the very recent Syrian refugee crisis, these books are important additions to your shelf. A Land of Permanent Goodbyes Narrated by Destiny, this heartbreaking … Continued
See More

See the EXCLUSIVE Cover Reveal for FOUR DEAD QUEENS by Astrid Scholte!

 Get ready for your first 2019 obsession from debut author and superstar in the making, Astrid Scholte. Four Dead Queens is a high-stakes standalone fantasy novel, full of twists and turns, and an ending that will leave you shook! Check out the gorgeous cover below, read about the book, and try not to be *too* … Continued
See More

Catch Penguin Teen at YALLWest 2018!

This weekend we’re heading to sunny Santa Monica, California for YALLWest 2018! Check out what we’ve got going on this weekend, and make sure to come by the booth and say hi! Can’t wait to see you there. Can’t make it to YALLWest? Make sure you’re following along on our Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat!   … Continued
See More

Sabaa Tahir Recaps Laia’s An Ember in the Ashes journey

The Ember in the Ashes world is DEEP! And with so much going on – all that death and destruction – it can be hard to remember exactly who is betraying who. Don’t worry though, we had Sabaa Tahir recap Laia of Serra’s journey in the first two books in the series to help refresh … Continued
See More

Sabaa Tahir Recaps Elias’ An Ember in the Ashes journey

Son of The Commandant, and just trying to be a good guy Elias Veturius can’t catch a break. He really wants to escape this life but circumstance, family and promises aren’t making things easy. If you need a refresher on exactly what Elias has been through in An Ember in the Ashes and A Torch … Continued
See More

Catch Penguin Teen at North Texas Teen Book Festival!

We’re so excited to be heading back to North Texas Teen Book Festival next week and we couldn’t wait to give you a little preview of all the free swag, buzz-worthy panels, and awesome activities we have planned for the day. Read on for more info and on April 21st, be sure to stop by our booth for exclusive … Continued
See More

The Truth and Lies of Ella Black cover is HERE!

After the internationally acclaimed The One Memory of Flora Banks, Emily Barr is back and her next book The Truth and Lies of Ella Black is a twisty, who-can-you-trust thriller set a global stage!   Ella Black has always had dark inclinations. She’s successfully hidden her evil alter ego from her family and friends, but … Continued
See More

Catch Penguin Teen at BookCon 2018!

It’s that time again–we’re heading to BookCon! Read on for our full schedule and join us at Booth 2121 for exclusive games and giveaways*, author signings, and sneak peeks at our upcoming books.   SATURDAY JUNE 2ND Ticketed Photo-Op with Sabaa Tahir 10:15AM SOLD OUT! Fear the Reaper. Come get a picture with Sabaa and some … Continued
See More

Sabaa Tahir Recaps Helene’s An Ember in the Ashes journey

Poor Helene! We all know our Blood Shrike really has not had much joy in the Ember in the Ashes series so far, but in case the details are a little fuzzy, we had Sabaa Tahir recap her journey so far. While the path has definitely not been easy for Helene heading into A Reaper at the … Continued
See More

Are You Ready for A REAPER AT THE GATES?

A Reaper at the Gates is the hotly-anticipated third book in Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes series, and it’s finally hitting shelves June 12! We could not be more excited. To get you ready, we’re putting all of this pre-release goodness in one place! Read on for a digital sampler of the three … Continued
See More